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Good news from the CQC

It's been a week where almost every day it feels I've been involved in hugely positive meetings about our long term ambitions and strategies, as well as receiving reassurance of the high regard in which our Trust is held.

Good news from the CQC 

We heard from the CQC this week that our Trust has been selected to feature in a CQC publication as one of the most improved in the country. The CQC have requested that they come and interview a mixture of managers and front line staff to find out about our improvement journey. This is a great vote of confidence from CQC.  Of course, this reputation doesn't come about by accident.  It's the result of a huge amount of commitment and person centred care from our staff. 

We have had a series of Mental Health Act visits in the last couple of weeks and probably have more to come. Overall, the inspectors found caring staff delivering person centred care which is really great. There were, however, still some issues with Mental Health Act paperwork being completed with the involvement of service users every time and evidencing this in paperwork.

Aside from the frontline visits, myself and Maria Nelligan and the Governance team met with our CQC inspection team to discuss our imminent inspection and update progress. We are the first Trust our inspection team will be coming to in the new CQC inspection so they are learning as well.  

Trust Boards that have been rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ for well led have been requested to be part of the new well led inspection process. I am therefore off in a couple of weeks to be part of an inspection for a few days in another trust. I am looking forward to the learning that this will provide for me personally and for our Trust – I will let you know how it goes.

STP local system review

The CQC are also looking at how our whole local health and care system works as part of a national programme of 12 reviews of commissioning across the interface of health and social care and an assessment of the governance in place for the management of resources. The reviews are looking specifically at how people move between health and social care, including delayed transfers of care, with a particular focus on people over 65 years old. Although the review does not specifically include mental health services or specialist commissioning, it is focusing on the experiences of people living with dementia as they move through the system

Myself, Buki and Maria were interviewed this week as part of this process, as pathway leaders. It was a really great opportunity to highlight some of the challenges we face in ensuring our service users enjoy the best possible joined-up services as they are cared for by different parts of the local NHS and local government.

Leadership Academy - Developing a Coaching Culture

Because of the sheer number of appointments in my diary, I was unable to attend this week's Leadership Academy, led by the excellent Becci Martin from Boo Coaching which focussed on our exciting plans for developing a Coaching Culture in Combined.

Coaching plays a significant role in the development and sustainability of high performing teams and is shown to be a key characteristic of successful organisations. Developing the coaching skills of our own people, and harnessing that to offer development opportunities to all our staff, is something about which I am passionate.

The feedback we've had from the sessions was really encouraging, even if some found it a bit of a challenge in the first exercise of the Academy to try to come up with a clear definition of the difference between coaching and mentoring!

The Academy finished with an invitation that if any of our staff are interested in developing their coaching skills to contact Sue Slater and sign up for an assessment day in October which will identify people to take part in the first wave of qualifications in coaching.  You can contact Sue by e-mail by clicking here.

Trust Board observed by AQuA

Our Trust Board this week was ably chaired by Tony Gadsby, our Vice Chair because David is on holiday. It was being observed by the quality improvement body – AQuA – with whom we are working to help us to continue to improve. 

We heard a powerful patient story by Ward 1 Manager Maxine Tilstone on behalf of Stuart, a long term service user of Adult Mental Health Inpatient services. The team had worked with Stuart over a long period of time, listening to his concerns, understanding his conditions and behaviours, and really going the extra mile to ensure they could support him and help get him to a place where he was able to understand himself better and improve his life. It was a truly humbling reminder of the brilliant work our staff do and the impact it has on people's lives. Really well done to Maxine for a great presentation!

Our Individual REACH Award this month was awarded to Kathryn Hemmings, Staff Nurse in our Substance Misuse Team at Stoke Heath Prison. This was in recognition of her fabulous work supporting those nearing the end of their prison sentence and preparing for release back into the community.

We were also proud to recognise staff who are retiring after decades of service. Ward clerk Chris Sims has worked for us since 2001. She initially worked as a housekeeper before becoming Ward Clerk. Chris has worked in many areas including on Oak Ward at Bradwell Hospital, Lymewood ward at Bradwell Hospital and Meadowcraft in Bucknall. She has worked within adult services before working on Ward 4 and then Ward 6.

Another retiree is Community Psychiatric Nurse Gwen Holland. Gwen has spent the majority of her working career within the Older Person's Directorate and since 2012 moved to the County Memory Service. She demonstrates enormous compassion to her service users, carers and the wider team. Her commitment to service users and carers remains an inspiration to our team and numerous service users and carers have spoken about her compassion, time and care.

Clinical Service Manager, Tina Mottram, commenced her career when she joined the Trust in 1989 working as a Health Care Support Worker on Ward 4 at St. Edwards Hospital. She commenced nurse training as one of the first Project 2000 nurses. Tiina worked at Lymebrook Resource Centre, Sutherland Centre and St Edward's Hospital before making her first move into substance misuse at the old Edward Myers Unit at City Hospital. The field of substance misuse is where Tina specialised and fulfilled her potential attaining both her Diploma in Addiction Studies and later attaining a BA (Hons) in Specialist Nursing Practice. In May 2015, Tina was promoted to the Clinical Service Manager in One Recovery, Staffordshire, where she continued to attempt to deliver a high quality services with the service user's interests totally at the heart of her thinking. As more than one staff member have stated - "there will only be one Tina".

Becoming a national digital exemplar

As you may be aware, when we started to strengthen our whole approach to digital working about three years ago we set ourselves an ambition to become a national digital exemplar. Being successful in gaining funding for a new electronic patient record has been great, as has innovating with technology enhancing service user lived, e.g. the Autographer project. Another opportunity has recently come to light – NHS Digital and DXC, our partner who we worked with to implement ROSE have launched a bidding round to support innovation across Lorenzo trusts. The aim is that the £12m funding available will be used to spread good practice. We have decided to focus our bid on improving children's mental health. The Children and Young People’s directorate have done such a fabulous job in enabling children and young people to access community services in a much more timely way. They receive a high number of referral that don't need to be seen by CAMHS services and, through strengthening our working with schools young people and other agencies we could improve services even more and technology can really help this. This is an exciting opportunity that I hope we will be successful in. 

We have also bid this week for national funding to make our RAID service an all age one so children and young people can be supported at Royal Stoke University Hospital better. We are partnering with commissioners and providers across Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country. This would be a really positive development – let’s hope we are successful.

I am off on holiday next week so Suzanne Robinson, our Director of Finance, Performance and Digital will be covering for me and writing the blog next week. I am looking forward to some chill time with the family including my gorgeous granddaughter who will keep me on my toes.